Tom Delay and Ted Stevens   Leave a comment

I’m not a Delay fan, but I always did think his conviction was bogus, mainly because it sounded so much like what happened to Ted Stevens.

For those who don’t keep up on Alaska politics, Stevens had been a sitting senator forever, he was one of the most powerful senators and he used his power for the good of Alaska’s infrastructure and economy. I did not agree with much of the pork-barrel spending. I view it as a payoff to Alaskans for accepting second-class status as a not-exactly-state. That’s another topic. Going back to Ted — the Republicans had had a deadlock on progressive Republicans for almost four decades and it was definitely working for Alaska. And, then Ted Stevens was accused of taking bribes from Veco.

Stevens had won his last election by better than 60% of the statewide vote. He was polling against Democrat Mark Begich similarly. And, even with a trial looming, he was still beating Begich in the polls. I’m guessing that’s why the Alaska GOP didn’t put up another candidate in the primary.

There were all sorts of prosecutorial errors during the trial and some of the evidence was shaky, but he was convicted right before the election of 2008. I do mean RIGHT before — less than two weeks. The simple solution for Alaskans would have been to elect him and let Sarah Palin select a replacement. Instead, Begich won with less than 2% of the vote.

You know, that’s really a sad statement — that he squeaked a win against a candidate who’d been convicted on federal charges.

Almost immediately after the election was certified, the feds admitted there were prosecutorial misconduct in the trial and Stevens’ sentence was put on hold. His conviction was overturned a few weeks after his death in a plane crash.

I suspect a lot of these trials are so much political sheninagans. If the Democrats can’t win at the ballot box, they’ll use other means that subvert the democratic process.

And, note — the Department of Justice — part of the administrative state. Isn’t that interesting?

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